Following what Del. Randy Minchew (R-10) describes as a “Lazarus Play,” a bill intended to hold elected officials to tighter ethical controls is headed for a committee vote Friday morning. – Leesburg Today
I wonder if Dems who blog up here all the time and complain will give Delegate Minchew some credit for keeping the bill alive — and for our Loudoun Board for supporting it too. There were positive comments about the bill at last night’s Board of Supervisors meeting – The Naked Truth
Credit where credit is due. Del. Minchew’s bill to close the Delgaudio Loophole in state law that allows elected officials to abuse public resources just because they’re “part-time” in the eyes of the law is back for a vote in the House of Delegates. This is a good thing, and credit to the Delegates who helped make this happen, including Del. Minchew.
That being said, it is well worth observing two disturbing implications of this “Lazarus Play.”
- Why was such a procedural move necessary? This is a bill supported by the Republican Board of Supervisors, and proposed by an “influential” Delegate from Loudoun. It was only resurrected when members of our community noticed (including Leesburg Today) and started asking questions. The logical conclusion of the Lazarus Play is that Republicans in the House of Delegates will only do the right thing when everybody is watching. We have a right to expect better of our elected officials than that.
- Why is such a procedural move possible? If a bill in a subcommittee that is killed isn’t really killed, then why kill it? Why not just vote on it? And why can’t we resurrect other important, valuable legislation killed in subcommittees this session, like Del. Surovell’s bill to prohibit state elected officials from accepting money from people currently litigating against the state. Or Del. Rasoul’s bill prohibiting local elected officials from accepting donations from people bidding on contracts in that locality. Given the ethical scandals of the past two years, it seems only appropriate such an extraordinary procedural tactic should be used to give every one of the ethics bills before the House of Delegates a fair vote of the full House.
UPDATE – Apparently it is okay to use similar procedural tactics to resurrect bills that benefit fossil fuel industries, too.
I’m glad to see the House of Delegates considering doing the right thing to close the Delgaudio Loophole. (It hasn’t yet done the right thing, it is worth noting.) I’m a bit disturbed they had to be cajoled by the sunlight of transparency to do so.